Cerrone fires back at claims he’s being paid to ‘take a dive’

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Hong Kong Phooey

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Feb 12, 2015
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Ever since his return against Conor McGregor was announced for UFC 246 in January, the 50-fight veteran has heard how he’s serving as a speed bump as the Irish superstar seeks to get a win under his belt before seeking bigger challenges against names like Khabib Nurmagomedov or Jorge Masvidal.

Mind you, none of this has come from McGregor directly, but it’s impossible to ignore than the crux of the attention being paid to this fight has been on the former two-division champion and his future plans after he gets through Cerrone in January.

Cerrone even heard a rumor that he was receiving a massive payday from the UFC to essentially bow down to McGregor to help put back on his pedestal ahead of bigger marquee fights in 2020.

“Hell no, I’m not bowing down,” Cerrone told MMA Fighting. “There’s a bunch of sh*t going around, people keep telling me ‘I heard you’re getting paid to take a dive.’ There wouldn’t be enough money in the world for someone to pay me to take a dive. I could never look myself in the mirror if somebody paid me to take a dive. Sh*t, never happen.


“I’d rather fight for free than take money to f*cking lose. That’s not me. I’m going to fight my ass off like I do every time.”

Outside of those accusations, the main complaints made against the upcoming showdown in January have primarily surrounded Cerrone losing his last two fights in a row against Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Many believed that it should have been Gaethje, not “Cowboy,” who got the golden ticket to face McGregor in his first fight back in more than 15 months.

Cerrone counters by pointing at the resume he’s built throughout his entire career to know why he’s facing McGregor next.
He holds a gaudy list of records including the most wins and most finishes in UFC history not to mention three wins in a row against Al Iaquinta, Alexander Hernandez and Mike Perry that precipitated those setbacks against the top ranked challenger at lightweight currently and a former World Series of Fighting Champion riding a three-fight win streak of his own.

“I’m still No. 4 or 5 or whatever the hell I am. It’s not like I’m getting beat up by bums, somewhere down there getting tumbleweeded in the rankings pool,” Cerrone said. “I don’t know where I’m sitting but I’m still at the top of the list.”

If anything, Cerrone feels like the spotlight in this fight will ultimately shine brightest on McGregor, who has a lot to prove after seeing his name in the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the past couple of years.

McGregor hasn’t won a fight in the UFC since 2016 and his last two performances have resulted in a TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather in a boxing spectacle and then falling in a lopsided outing against Nurmagomedov last October.

That said, Cerrone expects nothing but the best out of McGregor when they clash in January because he has so much to prove after he was knocked down off his throne as the king of combat sports.

“I expect the best Conor you guys have ever seen. I really do,” Cerrrone said. “He has so many doubters and questions that he needs to answer. I think he’s training extra hard, he’s coming and I think he’s going to be the best Conor you have ever seen.”

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone fires back at claims he’s being paid to ‘take a dive’ against Conor McGregor
 

Odin13

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Oct 21, 2015
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Who is accusing him of taking a dive, fucking bullshit.
Cerrone recently had an interview where he was saying that he wouldn't be talking shit about McGregor or his problems outside of the cage, talked about how much he respected him and his accomplishments, and said that he wouldn't be trying to grapple with Conor because he would rather lose an exciting fight that excited the fans than win a fight where he was just "trying to win".

For me, it honestly came off like he was folding already and not going to truly try and win. Some people took it a step further and said that they thought this pointed towards the fix being in.
 

Odin13

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Even the end of this interview strikes me as odd.

“I expect the best Conor you guys have ever seen. I really do,” Cerrrone said. “He has so many doubters and questions that he needs to answer. I think he’s training extra hard, he’s coming and I think he’s going to be the best Conor you have ever seen.”

Is he Conor's PR team now or what the fuck is going on with this guys head?
 

Saloth Sar

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Dec 1, 2015
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Even the end of this interview strikes me as odd.

“I expect the best Conor you guys have ever seen. I really do,” Cerrrone said. “He has so many doubters and questions that he needs to answer. I think he’s training extra hard, he’s coming and I think he’s going to be the best Conor you have ever seen.”

Is he Conor's PR team now or what the fuck is going on with this guys head?
Eh, I don't see anything unusual there. Fighters often hype their opponents up to sell fights. Cowboy's shtick doesn't usually involve trash talk either.

It does sound like Cowboy has some awareness that he'll probably lose and is just there for the cash. Which isn't really a bad thing as at least he isn't delusional at this stage of his career.
 

The Kurgan

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Jan 30, 2015
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Cerrone recently had an interview where he was saying that he wouldn't be talking shit about McGregor or his problems outside of the cage, talked about how much he respected him and his accomplishments, and said that he wouldn't be trying to grapple with Conor because he would rather lose an exciting fight that excited the fans than win a fight where he was just "trying to win".

For me, it honestly came off like he was folding already and not going to truly try and win. Some people took it a step further and said that they thought this pointed towards the fix being in.
Hmm that is a weak mentality alright.

I can't see Cerrone of all people taking a cheque to throw a fight though, thats a serious leap to make.
 
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kneeblock

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Apr 18, 2015
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Cerrone was talked about to fight McGregor for awhile and there were once serious odds that he'd beat him. I think he definitely has the skills to, but he'd need to actually have a game plan and stick to it. He's much better than Conor on the mat, so he could win there, but it seems people somehow become allergic to takedowns when they fight Conor. Cerrone's "I'm willing to have an exciting fight" to me means he's essentially agreed to kickboxing only.
 

Odin13

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Eh, I don't see anything unusual there. Fighters often hype their opponents up to sell fights. Cowboy's shtick doesn't usually involve trash talk either.

It does sound like Cowboy has some awareness that he'll probably lose and is just there for the cash. Which isn't really a bad thing as at least he isn't delusional at this stage of his career.
Yeah, that's absolutely true. This, just like any pre-fight stuff, can be taken and spun a thousand different ways depending on what your bias of the situation is.
 

The Kurgan

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It smells like the UFC don't want McGregors dirty deeds the last few years being used against him in the build up.

Cerrone is the perfect opponent to agree to that, he doesn't do well when he is in shit talking contests. Nate had him in his pocket in the pre fight build up.

I could see him saying yes to that but suggesting he is going to take a dive is ridiculous, a backroom bonus for keeping it off the deck seems less so but I still can't see it.

Cerrone might just want to test himself against a great striker, taking him down and throttling him proves nothing, we know McGregor wilts when he is under pressure from a submission.

I don't like this fight but I like this narrative less.

Cerrone is looking a bit shopworn lately, he does seem to be on the way down. its a soft return for a former champion still in his prime.

Cowboy is still a threat though, anywhere the fight goes, trying to say hes been fucking paid to be less of one is bollocks.
 

Jehannum

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someone needs to tell Donald that there are many fans who want to see him submit Conor asap and don't care if no strikes land
 

KWingJitsu

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Maybe his dumb ass shouldn't have said he's not going to grapple.

Might want to take a look at how Conor has lost every fight ....
 

Haulport

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someone needs to tell Donald that there are many fans who want to see him submit Conor asap and don't care if no strikes land
Exactly. This is such a SHIT mentality in MMA now. Goes back to Nick and BJ agreeing to duke it out only. WTF decided (Dana & The Brothers Swole) that grappling and going for submissions was boring?!?!?!?

This is why I barely watch anymore. Such garbage wrestle/box. Not even real MMA imo...

Also: I love the guy but Donald has zero head movement and has never been able to fix that and Conor will K him TFO out if he only boxes McGregor...
 

ECC170

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I'm not even excited for this fight.. Cerrone will give him too much respect and fold.. McTurder will get a title shot for beating a guy that's coming off 3 straight losses after this shit show.. I'm over the ufc and the conor bullshit..Fk the ufc and conor